(image: me in 1985, probably trying to do math)
Why We Increased Prices
On April 24, we adjusted most of our prices in response to the increased costs of both food & labor.
For context, our raw supplies (ingredients, packaging, etc) cost 25% more overall than the same supplies this time last year. YEESH!
And for the stat-lovers, here is a sampling of costs of common items (April 2021 vs April 2022), per case:
- Butter: $76.82 to $160.15 (108% increase)... nope, not a typo. Butter really has increased that much... and we use it in like, everything.
- Apples: $22 to $34.60 (57.3% increase)
- Strawberry preserves: $99.99 to $149.99 (50% increase)
- Cream cheese: $62.72 to $91.25 (45.5% increase)
- All purpose Flour: $17.97 to $25.98 (44.5% increase)
- Pecans: $48.98 to $59.99 (22.5% increase)
- Sour cream: $25.62 to $31.06 (21.2% increase)
- Brown sugar: $25.69 to $29.99 (16.7% increase)
- Granulated sugar: $28.84 to $32.82 (13.8% increase)
- Semisweet chocolate: $115.95 to $129.99 (12.1% increase)
- Rice cereal: $23.53 to $25.95 (10.3% increase)
In addition to the actual supplies costing much more, their availability continues to be a big challenge. Shortages, delays, etc all have impacted our operation... especially because we are so committed to baking fresh. We're managing through it and continue to be committed to fresh, from scratch food.
Labor is costing more as well. Supply costs have increased for businesses, but also at the grocery store, which impacts my staff (and you, me, everyone) and rents in Memphis have increased almost 30% and rising.
We've made big strides in ensuring that Muddy's provides for the team and we continue to prioritize this, even as industry-wide labor shortages persist and the economy feel chaotic. Keeping and providing for skilled, caring, truly A+ team members is a huge priority for the sustainability of Muddy's.
So how have the bakery prices changed?
Overall and on average, we increased our prices about 6-10%. Some items a little more, some less. Products that were already in the danger zone on margin got a bigger boost, those that had a little more cushion increased less. Smaller portions that still need special packaging cost a bit more, but we pass along the packaging savings for bigger orders (ie: you pay less per cupcake when you order a box of dozen). So we basically took a "team" approach to balancing costs rather than individual :)
While this price change does not bring us all the way back to budget, it does move the needle more into the sustainability zone. We'll see how this goes, continue to stay on top of the situation, and as always, just do our best!
The value of a dollar has changed faster this past year than I've experienced in my lifetime. I'm glad that I made the decision years ago to make Muddy's an "open book" business (everyone on the team has access to and learns about the finances).
And I am especially grateful for my amazing team of coworkers and our incredible customers.
While Big Box stores certainly have some advantages (bulk price negotiation being a big one), I'll take my little "mom & pop" any day of the week. A lot of businesses just have staff & customers; we have friends, neighbors, peers, team mates... a true community who has weathered challenges together already. It gives me confidence that we can handle the current ones and whatever comes next.
Our Pricing Philosophy, In General
It's impossible for a business to have the best quality, best service, AND lowest prices... and we set out to be the best we can be.
We remain committed to fair pricing, which includes pricing our goods at their value so we can continue using high quality ingredients, hiring & training the very best team members, investing in excellent service, contributing to the community, and basically doing all those things that make us proud to be Muddy's. We price for sustainability, not just survival, and do our best to achieve a harmonious balance of value to customer, value to employees, and value to community.
If you have questions about any of this, feel free to email me at email@example.com and we can chat!